The Overwatch World Cup Returns for 2017, Teams to be Invited Based Off of SR Rating
Just a day after Valve revealed the details of their equivalent to a Dota 2 World Championship, Blizzard has shed light on what fans should expect during this year’s Road to Blizzcon as they begin to look towards the 2017 Overwatch World Cup.
The event will have four phases, with the first already having begun.
As players win Competitive Play games, they will add to their respective country’s average Skill Rating as Blizzard tracks the top 100 players from every country. The first phase, or the Announce phase, will end in just under 27 days when the top 32 nations qualify for the World Cup. At present, South Korea, China, USA, Sweden, and the UK sit in the top 5.
Phase two, slated for April, is appropriately dubbed the “Voting” phase, but it’s gone under some changes since last year. Once the top 32 countries are primed and ready to go, the players from those countries will have to select three nominees to form a committee from the ten that Blizzard will provide. According to Blizzard, these nominees will include analysts, coaches, and “other authorities” from the local Overwatch esports community. Once their 2017 Overwatch World Cup National Committee has been formed, the committee will work together to build their country’s team based off of synergy, hero selections, and past game performances. This new system will ensure that only the nation’s top players will proceed to the Overwatch World Cup, rather than the most popular ones.
The final phase before Blizzcon will be composed of a series of live group stage events will be held in Europe, North America, and Asia. Of the four group stages, which will essentially act as qualifiers, each will feature eight national teams compete for one of two available spots at the Blizzcon Finals per group stage. Tickets for these events will go on sale in May for those who wish to support their team in person and will be livestreamed online for those who cannot attend.
The season will wrap up in November at Blizzcon for phase four: the Blizzcon Finals where eight single-elimination matches will determine which nation has Overwatch’s strongest players. It’s unlikely that there will be any prize pool, as last year’s event offered only an appearance bonus and free trip to the tournament.
Last year saw South Korea tear through the competition to claim first place at the World Cup, the team mostly composed of players from Lunatic Hai and Afreeca Freecs. The talent lineup included esports superstars such as Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, and Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, the latter having been recently featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30: Games.
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai